Edibles 101: Guide to Marijuana Edibles
If you consider yourself a cannabis enthusiast and you’ve got a sweet tooth or prefer snacking on something more savory, this guide is for you. We’re going to share everything we know about the tastiest of marijuana products—edibles. In this guide, we’ll answer the questions:
- What Is An Edible?
- How Do Edibles Work?
- How Long Does It Take For Marijuana Edibles To Work?
- What Are The Different Types Of Edibles?
- How Much THC Is In Edibles?
- Cannabis Edibles Vs Flower: How Are They Different?
- Marijuana Edible FAQs
What is an Edible?
How Do Edibles Work?
If you’ve consumed a variety of edibles, you’ve probably noticed that some of them work faster than others. This is because of how they’re consumed. Edibles can be consumed a couple different ways, including sublingually or buccally (under the tongue or through the cheek, respectively) or through digestion (swallowed).
Edibles like candies and lozenges stay in your mouth, so they’re absorbed through the thin skin in your cheek and under your tongue. This process gets the cannabinoids to your bloodstream faster than edibles like brownies that need to be digested. That’s why you may feel the effects of a lozenge faster than a cannabis biscuit.
There are also products that are consumed both ways—like cannabis beverages. While some of the drink will remain in your mouth and get absorbed there, it will also make it to the stomach and go through the digestion process. This may mean that you’ll feel the effects of these beverages faster than a digested edible but more slowly than an edible that remains in your mouth.
How Long Does It Take for Marijuana Edibles to Work?
Now that we know how cannabis edibles can be absorbed—through the mouth or via digestion—we can explain how long it takes for marijuana edibles to work. In general, we always recommend waiting a full hour to feel the effects of an edible. That being said, depending on the edible, the time to feel the effect may be significantly shorter.
For example, if you’re enjoying a marijuana lollipop, you’re going to be absorbing the cannabinoids through your mouth. This is a quicker process than edibles that need to be digested, so you may feel the effects faster. If you prefer chewing and swallowing your edibles, as you would with gummies, the cannabinoids have to be absorbed through your digestive system, metabolized by the liver, and reintroduced to the bloodstream. This is a process that takes time and that means a slower time to feel the effects.
There are also factors to consider that include everything from what you ate that day to your gender, weight, tolerance levels, and the THC dosage. These all play a part in how quickly an edible can affect you. That’s why we tell everyone to start slow with a low dose and figure out what’s right for you, depending on the edible you’re consuming.
What are the Different Types of Edibles?
Marijuana Gummies & Chews
Gummy edibles come in all different shapes and sizes—some of them even mimicking popular non-cannabis sweet, chewy candies on the market today. Just remember—they look and taste like candy, but they’re still cannabis, so watch your dosage to avoid unpleasant side effects.
Baked Goods & Cannabis Brownies
While marijuana brownies are one of the most popular baked edibles, they’re not the only baked edibles. The industry has expanded exponentially when it comes to baked cannabis products, making it so you can buy cookies, pancakes, brownies, muffins, and more.
THC Beverages & Drink Mixes
Yes, you can drink your cannabis. Cannabis beverages come in all different varieties from seltzers to teas, juices and more. And if you prefer to make your own drinks, drink mixes that include cannabinoids like THC can help you create the perfect beverage at home.
Marijuana Mints & Hard Candies
While there are mints and hard candies made with cannabinoids and terpenes, many are infused with THC distillate. Because of the distillate, you get all the sweet candy flavor you love but no marijuana flavor. Hard candy and mint marijuana edibles are absorbed through the cheek wall or under the tongue and can cause a faster effect than digested edibles.
THC-Infused Cooking & Baking Oils
If you’re interested in making your own edibles at home, take a look at cannabis-infused cooking and baking products. From cannabutter to taco seasoning, you’ll find a wide array of ingredients to add cannabis to your (adults only!) meals.
How Much THC is in Edibles?
Understanding how much THC is in edibles can get a little confusing if you’re not sure how to read the packaging. The edible’s cannabis product label will list dosages that typically range from 2.5 mg to 10 mg. This number means that’s how much THC is in each serving. So if you have a chocolate bar with twelve squares, and each square is a 5 mg serving, that edible has 60 mg of THC in it. You could also have a package of 10 gummies, each with 10 mg of THC, making it 100 mg total.
Knowing how much THC is in your edible and how the edible’s THC breaks down per serving will help you better dose your edible. A new cannabis enthusiast may choose to have a single 5 mg square of chocolate where a seasoned cannabis connoisseur may opt for three squares of chocolate.
Cannabis Edibles vs Flower: How Are They Different?
Cannabis edibles are cannabinoid-infused food products, whereas flower is the dried and cured flower bud from the marijuana plant. The biggest difference between the two is how they are consumed—flower is typically smoked or vaped, and edibles just need to be eaten.
In addition to the way flower and edibles are consumed, another difference is the onset and duration of effects. While edibles tend to last longer than flower, it can also take longer to feel the effects of many edibles compared to flower. Ultimately, which cannabis product you prefer is up to you, though many cannabis enthusiasts prefer not to choose, and instead, enjoy them both.
There are very few topics that are tastier to talk about than edibles. Here are a few questions our budtenders are answering on a day-to-day basis:
Do edibles taste like marijuana?
Yes, some edibles taste like marijuana. That said, many edibles don’t taste like marijuana. The flavor of your edibles depends on how they’re made. For example, if your edibles are infused with a THC distillate, you will only taste the food because THC doesn’t have a flavor.
If your edibles are made from flower, using cannabutter, or they’re made with full-spectrum oils that include terpenes and flavonoids, your edibles will have a marijuana flavor.
Can I make edibles at home?
Yes, definitely. There are a number of different ways to create edibles. If you prefer treats you pulled fresh from the oven, like cannabis cookies and brownies, check out our guide for baking with cannabis. If you lean more toward candy-like edibles, you’re definitely going to want to DIY gummies at home.
Can I eat raw marijuana?
You can…but it won’t do much. That’s because raw cannabis flower contains THCA, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, not THC. Once heated—or decarboxylated—THCA turns into THC. Edibles you purchase at a dispensary contain THC and are ready to eat. However, if you are making your own edibles, you’ll need to decarboxylate the flower ahead of time.
Can I purchase CBD only edibles?
For the most part, yes, you can purchase CBD only edibles. The reason we say “for the most part” is that if you purchase CBD edibles from a dispensary, you’ll likely have two options:
- Option 1: CBD edibles that have the tiniest, sometimes immeasurable, amounts of THC in them.
- Option 2: CBD/THC edibles that have a balance of both cannabinoids in them.
CBD products purchased from a dispensary are made from the marijuana plant. This is distinctly different from CBD products you purchase from the unregulated market that are made from hemp. We recommend always getting your CBD from a dispensary—the industry’s oversight and regulation ensures you’re getting a quality product with every purchase. The same can’t be said for hemp-derived CBD products purchased from your local corner store.
How do I find the right edibles dosage?
Finding the right dosage of edibles is entirely specific to your body, your tolerance levels, and even your weight, how much you ate, etc. For example, if you’re entirely new to cannabis, and you just had a giant meal, you should definitely start on the low side of the dosages available for edibles. If you’re a seasoned cannabis connoisseur but you haven’t eaten all day, you may want to moderate your dose more than you normally would.
The best way for a beginner to dose edibles is to start with 5-10 mg of THC. Then, wait. The wait should be at least an hour, but you should add hours if you just ate a big meal—food in your stomach will slow the edible’s digestion, creating a delay to the effects you feel.
If you’ve waited a handful of hours, and you’re not feeling much, you know you need to up your dosage. The next time you consume an edible, add 5 mg to your original dose, and take 10-15 mg total. While this 5 mg increase each session may seem like a time consuming way to find the right dosage for you, it will ensure you don’t overdo it and create an unpleasant experience.
Pick Your Favorite Edibles for Purchase
It would be pretty hard to walk into a dispensary and not find an edible that suits your taste buds. There are so many options available, from sweet and savory to tinctures and cannaoils. If you’re interested in picking out your new favorite edible but aren’t sure where to start, talk to your budtender. With a quick chat, they can understand what you’re looking for and help you choose the right edibles for you.